Monday, November 22, 2010


It’s amazing how quickly a place can begin to feel like home. One week in Moscow and already things are beginning to feel comfortable, even routine. Yes, there’s that minor detail of speaking Russian which doesn’t exactly fall into the comfort category, but that aside…I’m home. Albeit a makeshift monthly home. Which carries undertones of “squatter.” But I digress…

I love Moscow. At first glance it seems grey and bleak, especially given a week of 0 degrees Celsius with no snow---warm for this time of year apparently, though my currently soft Texan self would claim otherwise. Conversations are direct, straightforward, blunt, and a slew of similar adjectives. Fighting your way through the crowds in the metro you begin to understand how the Nazi offense was stopped on the Eastern Front. And don't get me started on the drivers...

But a closer look and you start seeing in color. On nearly every street corner you can find a flower shop, brimming over with beautiful roses and arrangements that seem magical given the winter surroundings. And flowers are in high demand. It’s a generous city, concerned with gifting and gratitude. I have never been more warmly welcomed into people’s lives and homes. They skip the formalities (hence the seemingly abrupt and direct behaviors) and immediately want to feed and look after you. And the warring throngs of the metro are filled with secret courtesy. I’ve never seen gentleman quicker to give up their seats to an elderly or pregnant woman. And every hand reaches for change if an invalid is walking through the car. History is mingled with modern innovation, beautiful churches and cozy cafes amidst run-down Soviet housing structures. It’s cold but warm, harsh but friendly, and bleak but colorful. I love it.

I’ll be the first to admit I fall in love easily when it comes to places. I find people and their surroundings fascinating, and while I absolutely absorb the beauties and awe at the standard sights, I love the quirks. And quirks are plentiful in this city. While the occasional day as a tourist is completely necessary and certainly enjoyable, I find my daily commute on the metro, walks around the university, and stops at the market even more interesting. And true joy is trying to fit into it all, trying to understand, trying to speak, and learning something every second.


  1. I love this post. Way to see beyond stereotypes. I love the photos.

  2. ООО, Весьма отличная идея и своевременно


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